Happening Today

Cannabis Commission, Healey on the air, and more

— The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy will review 23 bills at an energy efficiency hearing, including legislation that would create a ‘Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Authority’ to oversee a Green Jobs Loan Fund, Room A-1, 1 p.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission is scheduled to meet and is likely to discuss the process for holding hearings and accepting comments on the CCC’s upcoming regulations re-write, location of meeting was not available as of last evening, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, Sen. Michael Moore and Rep. Mary Keefe attend an event highlighting the administration’s Housing Choice legislation, The Edge, 8 Grafton St, Worcester, 1:15 p.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 1 p.m., and then a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the Center of Hope and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Gathering with the Governor, AC Hotel by Marriott, 125 Front Street, Worcester, 3:30 p.m.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Delaware North’s Jabobs wants a piece of the sports-betting action

Professional sports team owners really want a piece of the gambling action, it seems. The latest evidence of this phenomenon via the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Delaware North, the multibillion-dollar hospitality company whose chairman, Jeremy Jacobs, owns the Boston Bruins and TD Garden, wants to offer sports betting in Massachusetts, should state lawmakers legalize it. The company’s interest, detailed Wednesday at a legislative committee hearing, injects a major player into the still-simmering debate over whether and how the state should allow betting.”

Recall recent reports that John Henry, the billionaire owner of the Red Sox and Boston Globe, had previously expressed interest in possibly buying the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett. Who’s next? Bob Kraft? Wyc Grosbeak? SHNS’s Michael Norton and Colin Young (pay wall) have more on the Delaware North pitch. And Andy Metzger at CommonWealth reports that House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants a floor vote this session on sports betting.   

Boston Globe

Student faces prison after threatening to kill athletes who spoiled his sports-bet outcomes

We pass this along merely as a coincidence: MassLive’s Dan Glaun reports that Addison Choi, a 21-year-old varsity soccer player at Babson College, apparently had an all “consuming and self-destructive hobby,” i.e. betting heavily on sports, racking up losses and threatening to kill athletes who failed to live up to his sports-wagering expectations. He now faces prison time.


Healey sues national vaping company, claiming it targets underage consumers

No, it’s not Martha Coakley’s Juul. From the Globe’s Danny McDonald: “In her latest battle against the e-cigarette and vaping industry, Attorney General Maura Healey is suing a national retailer for allegedly violating Massachusetts law that regulates the sale and advertisement of tobacco, saying the company targeted underage people for sales of its nicotine products. Healey’s complaint, filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that Eonsmoke LLC, a New Jersey company, failed for years to verify online buyers’ ages and to ensure shipments were received by a person who was 21 or older.”

Post-Mueller press conference: To impeach or not impeach?

The calls for impeachment may be louder this morning, but this story by the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky suggests it may be the result of the same people merely calling more loudly for impeachment after Robert Mueller’s press conference yesterday. I.e. the state’s congressional delegation remains divided along the same lines over the issue of impeaching President Trump at this time.

At WGBH, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern says it’s time “do what’s right”and open a formal inquiry into whether impeachment is warranted – which is not the same as outright calling for impeachment, unless we’re reading it wrong.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, who’s challenging U.S. Sen. Edward Markey in the 2020 Dem primary for senator, is now calling for impeachment, reports the AP at the Herald. Markey is among the more cautious on the issue.

Boston Herald

Lowell agrees to change its city election system, ending voting-rights showdown

The Lowell Sun’s Elizabeth Dobbins reports that an agreement has been reached to settle a voting rights lawsuit brought by minorities in Lowell over the city’s election system. Bottom line: The days of at-large city council and school committee elections are coming to an end.

Lowell Sun

Christian group and Curt Schilling object to drag-queen event at Fall River library

Deborah Allard at the Herald Review reports that a Christian group plans to hold a silent sit-in at the Fall River Public Library to “thwart children from attending its first Drag Queen Storytime Saturday,” organized by F.R. Pride to mark the kick off of Pride Month. The library isn’t backing down.

It appears the Christian group may be responding to a recent series of tweets by former Red Sox star Curt Schilling, who has objected to the drag-queen event, reports the Fall River Reporter.

Herald News

Jacob Wirth could re-open under new ownership

Boston Restaurant News reports that the Theater District’s iconic Jacob Wirth restaurant, which closed nearly a year ago, could be getting a new owner and lease on life, as indicated in recent licensing board filings. BRN’s post via Universal Hub.

Boston Restaurant News

Trooper in OT scandal: Everyone did it – and everyone knew

File under: ‘RICO’? From the Globe’s Mark Rocheleau: “A former State Police trooper facing sentencing for his role in the overtime fraud scandal told a federal judge this week that almost every member of his troop used the same scheme with the knowledge of their superior officers, but “only a handful of us were singled out for federal prosecution.”

Meanwhile, Scott Croteau at MassLive reports that another trooper ensnared in the OT scandal thinks he should only serve a day in prison. Federal prosecutors respectfully disagree.

Flag flap: Foxboro veterans wants town to stop flying Pats banner with Old Glory

It’s complicated. Foxboro selectmen are considering a request from local veterans to end its practice of displaying a New England Patriots banner on the same pole as the U.S. flag on the town’s common, Abigail DesVergnes reports at the Sun Chronicle. The town has been hoisting the team’s banner beneath Old Glory on home game weekends since 2017 and officials said at the time the move was cleared with the local veterans’ agent.  

Sun Chronicle

Mass departure: Hampshire College’s leadership upheaval was even worse than it looked

Hampshire College officials now admits that 10 members of its board of trustees resigned in early April, when the depth of the liberal arts school’s financial woes first burst into public view, not six as previously indicated, Dusty Christensen reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The school confirmed the figure after the Gazette matched up past and current lists of trustees — and the revelation comes as Hampshire prepares for a Friday face-to-face with the New England Commission of Higher Education, which has said it could yank the school’s accreditation.  


Sen. Brady may be sorry, but he’s going to fight that DUI charge, damn it

State Sen. Michael Brady may have profusely apologized to everyone and anyone after he was arrested earlier this year on drunken driving charges and before admitting himself into an alcohol treatment center, as the Globe’s Matt Stout reports. But Brady does plan to fight the drunken-driving charge at a trial next week, possibly submitting in his defense medical records from an optometrist. Hmm. An optometrist. Interesting. Never heard of that one before.

Boston Globe

Sen. Collins: I am not anti-beer

On the other end of the alcohol-consumption spectrum, Adam Reilly at WGBH reports on the legislative move, backed by state Sen. Nick Collins, to put a cap on the number of days outdoor beer gardens can operate and how Collins isn’t exactly Mr. Popular these days in some quarters. “I think people thought I didn’t like beer!” Collins says of his detractors. “Totally wrong. … Anyone who knows me (knows) that not only do I like beer gardens, I like to have fun.”

Fyi: Lurking behind the proposed beer-gardens cap is the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Just pointing it out.


Collins and advocates unveil anti-foreclosure legislation

Speaking of the Boston senator, this should help his popularity in some quarters and hurt it in others. From SHNS’s Kaitlyn Budion: “Foreclosures would have to go through mediation and a judicial process under a bill proposed by Sen. Nick Collins. The Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the bill, which they said would help protect residents across Massachusetts.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Confirmed: Amazon to build huge distribution center in North Andover, employing 1,500

The BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports that it’s now confirmed: Amazon is indeed behind a move to build a 3.6 million-square-foot fulfillment center at the former home of Lucent Technologies in North Andover. As many as 1,500 people could be employed at the site. The Globe’s Tim Logan notes that it’s the same site that three Merrimack Valley municipalities initially proposed for Amazon’s “second headquarters” location. They didn’t get the Amazon HQ2, but the towns still won in the end, as Logan notes.


Bad vibes: Barnstable debates ‘acoustic deterrent device’ to combat sharks

There was no harmony yesterday at a Barnstable County Commissioners meeting, where residents and wildlife researchers argued over the merits of a proposed “acoustic deterrent device” — i.e. an electronic anti-shark system — that backers say is needed to ward off future shark attacks along Cape beaches. The Herald’s Alexi Cohan has the details.

Boston Herald

From old-school newspapers to new-school ride-hailing app …

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that Russel Pergament, the founder of the Tab newspapers and the former BostonNow free daily, is now working on producing a new ride-sharing app dubbed BestRides. Chesto explains the latest venture of the 71-year-old Pergament – and we should explain that Russel is also a glorious leader and part owner of State House News Service and MassterList.

Boston Globe

Massachusetts courts mull eliminating courthouse ban on cell phones

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: The Massachusetts Trial Court will reevaluate and potentially rescind some of its bans on cellphones in state courthouses, in light of a new report by a court-appointed commission. The report writes that although there are security concerns with using cellphones in courthouses, banning their use disadvantages self-represented litigants who need their phones to access information.”


Seeking state bailout, Hampshire Council of Governments may delay closing

Jim Russell at MassLive reports that officials at the Hampshire Council of Governments, a remnant of the old county government system, are apparently in talks with some legislators about a possible state bailout to offset the council’s last remaining debts – and so they’re considering a delay in closing the council until they see what happens on Beacon Hill. Our question: How do you bail out an entity that plans to bail out after the bailout?


Maxing out: State watchdog gets third pay raise in three years

The Globe’s Matt Stout pulls the watching-the-watchdog duties: “For the third time in as many years, a state board has awarded Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha a pay hike, pushing his salary to more than $185,000, the maximum allowed under state law. Cunha, first appointed in 2012 to head the independent watchdog agency, will start collecting his $4,000 increase on July 1.” Btw: Stout notes Cunha’s pay has risen 37 percent in the past six years. Has your salary risen 37 percent in that time?

Boston Globe

NY students travel all the way to Newton to protest controversial history curriculum

From Julie Cohen at Wicked Local: “As students from a New York school on Tuesday protested what they called Newton Public Schools’ allegedly anti-Semitic history curriculum, Newton South High School students loudly rejected those claims. Many in the large crowd standing outside the entrance to South yelled across Brandeis Street to the protesters from Rambam Mesivta high school, asking why they had come from so far to demonstrate.”

Wicked Local

BU agrees to share control of WBUR

From Martha Bebinger at WBUR: “Boston University is agreeing to share control of WBUR with a station board whose members have, until now, been advisers and donors with no decision-making power. The deal outlined Wednesday would give a new executive committee the authority to hire and fire the station’s general manager and oversee its finances. The committee, however, would report directly to BU’s president.”


No sanctuary for sanctuary ordinance in Brockton

Score one for the mayor. After four months of often contentious debate, the Brockton City Council has all but killed the proposed Brockton United ordinance, which critics said amounted to a sanctuary city policy and which Mayor Bill Carpenter led the charge against, Cody Shepard reports at the Enterprise. 


Obsolete? Worcester council will review viability of regional transit authority

The Worcester City Council plans to examine the viability of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority after one member questioned the effectiveness of the services it provides and whether the agency is “possibly obsolete,” Nick Kotsopolous reports at the Telegram. 


NAIOP Bus Tour – The Science of Success: Today’s Development DNA

Jump on board the NAIOP Bus Tour to observe, identify and analyze some of the most exciting office, multifamily, lab and mixed-use developments in Waltham, Watertown, Newton and Needham!

NAIOP Massachusetts

Let’s have Breakfast with Mayor Marty Walsh

Join Mayor Marty Walsh in supporting Operation ABLE, which provides training and employment services for job seekers.

Operation ABLE

Pipeline Partnerships: Early Entry into Talent Development

Pipeline Partnerships: Early Entry into Talent Development. This event is an opportunity to learn about innovative ways businesses, schools and nonprofit partners are working together to educate and prepare a skilled future workforce. Featured Speaker is Rosalin Acosta, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development.

Apprentice Learning

MSDC Advocacy Day

Please join the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC) in celebrating the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and learn about critical policies and funding that will help them to lead meaningful, fulfilling lives at the 6th annual MDSC Advocacy Day on Thursday, June 6 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in front of the Grand Staircase in the Massachusetts State House.

Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC)

Today’s Headlines


More pot shops on the horizon as Boston council mulls oversight – Boston Herald

Former Vice President Gore calls on Harvard to divest from fossil fuels – Boston Globe


Barnstable restricts sales of flavored tobacco products – Cape Cod Times

Residents push back at plans for Great Barrington’s first marijuana growing operation – Berkshire Eagle

Lawrence parking garage needs millions in repairs – Eagle-Tribune


White House wanted USS John McCain ‘out of sight’ during Trump’s Japan visit – Wall Street Journal

Revolution stalled? Bernie Sanders struggles against a double bind – Washington Post

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